God's Tax Subsidies
From Slate Articles
November 27, 2012 - 10:06am
A couple of thousand years ago, my understanding is that it was generally believed that events on the planet earth were controlled by an array of fairly egomaniacal gods. Good weather and good harvests depended on appeasing these gods with various sacrifices, splendid temples, and so forth. And in an overwhelmingly agricultural economy, this kind of god-appeasing activity is clearly a critical public service. In a very homegenous society, you can best achieve that god-appeasing through direct state investment in the temple sector (a single-payer religion initiative, so to speak) but in a diverse democracy it would make more sense to decentralize the appeasement process by establishing a generous tax subsidy for religious activities.
And that's more or less where we are, even though the Wrath of God theory of the business cycle is largely out of favor in policy circles. Consequently, Min...
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